Eleanor, 24, has Down syndrome. My wife and I started thinking about her future in junior high. We wanted to give her independence and a job.
I was also exhausted from practising general medicine in our little Wyoming community since 1999. I wanted to open a bakery so Eleanor could work there. Marda Stoliar’s International School of Baking in Bend, Oregon, advertised a 20-day bakery startup course. Doubtful. How?
Marda is the school, taking one apprentice at a time. She teaches 20-day bakery startup recipes and skills. I completed the curriculum while practising medicine and started selling baked goods from home.
Before Eleanor graduated, we opened a business. It was a major leap of faith—I was terrified—but it worked out. The shop employs people. Eleanor can also be productive and busy there.
Eleanor has made national connections through the shop. She works the cash register with pleasant coworkers. The town knows her.
I think the bakery helps our neighbourhood and family. That shows Eleanor’s potential.
In Torrington, Wyoming, Ezdan Fluckiger, M.D., 56, practises family medicine and runs the Bread Doctor bakery with his wife, Lisa.